How to start running in Kansas City

Newbie Run Club

Coach Cole with his Newbie Run Club participants.



Want to start running?

The Newbie Run Club is a Couch to 5k training plan with a dedicated coach gearing you up for the Rock The Parkway 5k. We built this program for first-time runners and walkers who have never completed a 5k, have had some time off from running, or who have taken part in one event but want support completing a second. We are excited to partner with the flat and festive Rock the Parkway 5k event.

Register Now!

Rock The Parkway 5k Training Plan

Are you ready to run your first 5k?!

Are you ready to achieve your goal of completing a 5k? Our amazing Newbie Run Club Coach is ready to help you achieve your goal. Mary Nacrelli will use an interval training program that will gradually build your body up for the Rock The Parkway 5k in the beginning of April.

You are in for a treat as Mary Nacrelli is the original Newbie Run Club Coach and we are thrilled to have her return in 2023 to coach this group! Come to our  free informational meeting on January 26th, 2023 and meet coach Mary!

The only person out there to beat is yourself! With our charismatic coaches, you will have fun completing this 5k and be ready to take on more.

We have structured this program for your success.  We want everyone to know that you CAN run your first 5k and Mary is here to help you along the way.

What it includes:

The Newbie Run Club fee includes:

  • Rock The Parkway entry.
  • Special Start / Finish area.
  • Amazing finisher’s medal.
  • Dedicated Couch to 5k Coaching.
  • Free Newbie Run Club Tech Tee.
  • Free informational meeting to meet the coaches, ask all the questions, learn about proper footwear, and more.
Rock The Parkway Training

The Newbie Run Club participants will complete the Rock The Parkway course prior to the live event.

  • Experience the course.
  • Your coach will walk you through the course and what to expect.
  • Dress rehearsal for your clothing and footwear.
  • No pressure for time.
three people running on a bridge in kansas city wearing gear from the running well store

Steps To The Newbie Run Club

Step 1

Coach Cole with his Newbie Run Club participants.

Free Informational Meeting

On January 26th at 6:00pm we will host a free informational meeting at the 6009 Johnson Drive Running Well Store location.  At this meeting you will meet Coach Mary, hear from the Race Director of the Rock the Parkway 5k and be able to meet your fellow runners in the Newbie Run Club. During this time Mary will also ask the group what times everyone would like to get together both in-person and virtually for the weekly meet ups and training runs.

Step 2

person stretching for extra flexibility and to protect their knees before a group run

Understanding the Training Plan

Coach Mary will take you through the eight week training plan gearing you up for the Rock the Parkway 5k! The training plan is based off of an interval training plan where you will walk / run to build up your endurance. The first week of the eight week training plan will start with more walking than running and will gradually build you up to more running than walking through the training program.

Step 3

two women reading ipad to discover proper stride analysis and running shoe fit

Weekly Runs and Virtual Check-Ins

Once a week you will meet in person with Coach Mary to have a group run together and meet in person to discuss your training.  In addition, there will be weekly virtual meetings to talk about any challenges you face and adjust your training plan should it need to be adjusted.

Step 4

Rock the Parkway Start Line

Dress Rehearsal

One week prior to the actual 5k event you will meet Coach Mary at the start line for a test run of the event.   This will provide you an opportunity to run in the clothing you plan on using for race day, see the course, learn where the aid stations will be placed and ask any questions you may have about the event prior to race day!

Step 5

Train for Rock The Parkway Kansas Cit

Event Day!

The day of the Rock the Parkway 5k you will meet Coach Mary at The Running Well Store tent.  There you can leave your belongings so that you only need to focus on your run! This is the day that eight weeks of hard work pays off, it is your job to run and enjoy the journey! We can’t wait to see you at the finish line!

Meet Coach Mary!

Coach Mary has a heart of pure gold and absolutely loves coaching the Newbie Run Club participants. Mary is going to make sure you have support during the eight week training program providing you with fun motivation along the way.  Passion for running and staying fit is in her DNA as she was the original Newbie Run coach when the program launched.  She is a fierce advocate for preventative health and will not only show you how to run a 5k but will show you how to keep injuries at bay while you train.  Come meet Coach Mary on January 26th at the Mission Running Well Store and feel free to ask any question about the training, the program or the race.

Couch to 5k Coach for Rock The Parkway 5k


I wanted to run a 5k for my 50th birthday.  I signed up for The Running Well Store’s Couch to 5k program expecting weekly group runs and community.  Then Covid arrived.  TRWS did an excellent job of pivoting and revamping their program to meet the new normal.  Coach Mike coordinated twice-weekly video calls, which served as excellent education sessions.  They also allowed ample time for the group to get to know each other, albeit virtually.  Coach Mike provided extensive training resources and we received real-time coaching and support via the Strava App. Our training culminated with Coach Mike mapping out a socially distanced version of the Hospital Hill race that let the group safely meet in-person. Having such a comprehensive running foundation has allowed me to run without injury, learning stretching and rolling techniques and make life-long friends along the way.  Quite a testament – especially in the mist of a pandemic! Thanks Coach Mike and The Running Well Store!



- C. Gannon

If you are thinking of starting to run or starting to run again, this group is a great place to start!

- S Rider
kansas city group run the starting line of a large marathon race

Register Now!

New Member: $105
NRC Alumni Rate: $95

Register Here!

Frequently Asked Questions